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The Pramukh Cup – the National Kishore Mandal 8-a-Side Indoor Cricket Tournament – was held at Harrow Leisure Sports Centre, London on Sunday 30 November 2008. This year’s competition was in contention by a few teams from the outset, the main challengers being Brent A, South A, and North A.

The competition consisted of 16 teams from across the UK and came to life in the quarter-finals, where Brent A met Harrow A in a local derby game. Brent A came through victorious and secured their place in the semi-finals where they would face East who had earlier caused an upset by beating Harrow A in the group stages. The other quarter-finals witnessed North A coming through relatively comfortably against Harrow B, while South A impressed against Nottingham.

The first of the semi-finals was contested between Brent A and East, where Brent A bowled and fielded well, restricting East to 34 runs. This proved to be a difficult score to defend, and despite East’s valiant efforts, Brent A secured the victory and would await their opponents for the final.

The second semi-final was contested between last year’s runners-up North A who battled against South A. This fixture has been one of the most competitive in the history of kishore sporting events. South A batted first and their intentions were quite clear; the opening pair amassed a colossal of 57 runs in the first two overs with a flourish of sumptuous sixes. South A were not finished yet, however, and with a great combined effort, scored a monumental total of 144 runs in the eight overs. North A had everything to do if they were to try and compete against South A’s total. They would always be vulnerable to losing wickets if they were to try and hit out. A great bowling and fielding effort, including two exceptional catches from their captain Darpan Amin, restricted North to 50 runs. This victory set up the final between two of the pre-tournament favourites.

The final brought together Brent A, last year’s winners, and South A. Brent A started tentatively, losing the odd wicket, but just as they looked set to mount a healthy total, a stunning hat-trick from Darpan Amin checked their progress and set them a tough bowling and fielding task if they were to successfully defend their total of 40 runs. South A started with a very measured approach. With sensible batting and good running between the wickets, they managed to accumulate the runs quickly. They notched a total of 69, winning the final by 29 runs. Congratulations to South A in winning the Pramukh Cup for the fourth time.

A special thanks to the guest of honour, Vikram Solanki, the England International and captain of Worcestershire Cricket Club, who was present to watch the tournament throughout the day. Mr Solanki allowed the kishores to have a bowl at him, offering a signed cricket bat to any bowler who dismissed him.

Prinay Patel of Brent A scooped the award for the ‘Best Bowler’ while Darpan Amin of South A won the ‘Best Batsman’ award. The best ‘All-Rounder’ award was presented to Sharad Patel of South A who put on a great display with the bat and ball as well as in the field with some important catches when his team needed some inspiration.

This tournament was a great show of talent and brotherhood amongst the Kishore Mandal, and we eagerly await next year’s tenth anniversary of the tournament.

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